I had two immediate emotions fighting within me. First was complete and utter sorrow at the devastation I was looking at. The fear and terror of those in Boston at the marathon. My heart breaks for them because it is never right for the innocent to be harmed in any way. Although the media would not confirm anything, it was pretty apparent to me that two bombs had gone off. The circumstances and timing were too coincidental.
The second emotion I am struggling with. I felt very jaded. Why would I feel this way? People are hurt, people are dead. I've thought about it all day as I've gone about my business.
Is it because I am so far away? I'm here in Colombia and that is back home - a world away. But as I was walking this afternoon I heard a group of construction workers talking and the words "Boston" and "bomb" were very clear to understand. Tragedies like this affect the world. We cannot understand and we all feel vulnerable for awhile.
Is it because I don't know any of the victims? Did it not affect me in a personal way? Well, maybe. But then I can read a story of injustice and be deeply affected.
Was it because I believe that our government doesn't care? Oh sure, they care in the same way I do, but I don't see anyone really fighting for the betterment of the citizens. I guess I just see a lot of fighting amongst our politicians. Guns are out of control, but where is the punishment? Illegal immigration has gotten out of control. Whatever happened to saying a simple "yes" or "no". If the answer is "no" then you pass go and do not collect $200 and go straight back to where you came from. I know we are supposed to be a land of open arms, but at this point we are breaking and we need to fix our country before we can help others. And speaking of helping others, what about how thin we are spread while we "save the world"? I am all about helping people, but when a nation is as broken as America is at this point they cannot continue to be looking to the world, rather they need to look within. The budget is the biggest problem of all. I can't respect a White House that is enjoying concerts and frivolous activities while her people suffer. I understand that to fix the budget it is going to hurt, but I am consistently surprised at the amount of wasteful and unwise spending choices I witness day after day that could begin to make a difference without actually truly affecting people.
Yes, I am jaded and weary of the direction my country is going. I think it is a dangerous state of mind to be in. I am very, very sad for Boston and what she is going through at this time, but I fear that next week there will be another news story and then another and another. I want to return to my homeland and be proud to be an American. I want to know that its citizens safety and well being are her main priority. And after we are standing tall and united in strength, I want to be proud of a nation that reaches out to others.
But today we are too broken and I am desperately longing for my leaders to care and be the strong ones to make the hard decisions to fix what is so broken.
Photo note: The Lorraine American Cemetery in France is the largest WWII cemetery in Europe.